FC Cincinnati’s Matt Miazga named MLS Defender of the Year
Major League Soccer Monday announced FC Cincinnati center back Matt Miazga as the 2023 MLS Defender of the Year.
Miazga becomes the first Cincinnati defender to receive the honor and the 17th different U.S. International to capture the accolade.
The 6-foot-4 defender has been an anchor on Cincinnati’s back line since arriving at the club on Aug. 5, 2022, starting 37 regular-season matches and logging over 3,100 minutes. When on the field, the Miazga-led defense allowed just 28 goals (1.03 goals per game) in 2023, and he started 10 games in which the club held their opponents scoreless, tied for the fourth-most clean sheets among outfield players in the league.
Playing a key role in FC Cincinnati’s dramatic turnaround over the last two seasons, the club holds a 21-4-12 record in matches that Miazga has appeared in and has advanced to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at the conclusion of both seasons, while capturing the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2023.
Miazga was one of three FC Cincinnati players to make the MLS All-Star team in 2023, joined by midfielders Luciano ‘Lucho’ Acosta and Álvaro Barreal.
A 2013 Homegrown signing by the New York Red Bulls, Miazga appeared in 38 matches for the Red Bulls from 2013-15 before joining Chelsea FC of the English Premier League in January 2016 at the age of 20. He made over 165 appearances across six different clubs in Europe before returning to MLS in the summer of 2022.
The Clifton, N.J., native has made 28 appearances with the United States Men’s National Team and was a member of the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup and 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League-winning squads.
FC Cincinnati continue their quest for MLS Cup presented by Audi, as they welcome the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 25 (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).
The Defender of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players.